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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Gary Crooks: Who can explain Trump’s appeal?

“GOP looks for Trump antidote,” said Thursday’s front-page headline. Which got me to thinking, what’s more important for civilization: a vaccine for Zika or Trumpitis?

Yes, the man who said, “If Ivanka weren’t my daughter, perhaps I’d be dating her,” has seduced enough voters to open a “yuge” lead in the Republican race. Even evangelical conservatives such as Jerry Falwell Jr. have become enamored with Donald “Two Corinthians” Trump.

It’s a startling ascent that prompts this week this question:

Why do you think Trump towers over the GOP field?

Is it the proposed ban on Muslims entering the country? The promised border wall, at no cost to Americans? A desire for another president of color – this time orange?

See the contact information at the end of this column, and send me your theory. Remember to include your full name and where you reside.

Oh, and if you have a sudden desire to inflame, insult and offend, see a doctor or hire a campaign manager.

THE PROPOSITION. Last week, I asked readers: “Which presidential candidate (still in the running) do you prefer? Give one reason, whether it’s an issue or a personal trait, for your support.” Here are the responses (edited for brevity):

“John Kasich. Most capable and worthy of the office! I’ve rejected all others regardless of party affiliation for various reasons.” – Jim Hiller, Spokane

“Favorite presidential candidate, Donald Trump! Why? An almost indisputable win for Hillary Clinton, but, alas, who knows in this topsy-turvy world within which we live, where the new normal is cray-cray … am I right?” – Steve LaCombe, Spokane Valley

“I not only prefer but I am already fully committed to voting Hillary Rodham Clinton for president. … It is simple! By and large she is the best qualified, the most qualified simply through her years of tenured service as President Obama’s secretary of state.” – Truman Covington, Spokane

“Bernie Sanders is the only presidential candidate I can support with a good conscience. While he’s not perfect (who is?), at least he might start us down the path of renewing government by the people, for the people, and begin addressing money’s undue influence in Washington.” – Bridget Dagg, Spokane

“I choose Bernie Sanders for president because of his lifelong dedication and activism for equality, not just on race issues but also in regards to economics, specifically income inequality between the top few percent and everyone else.” – Robert Binger, Spokane

“I like Marco Rubio for a couple reasons, but the main one is he is the only Republican candidate left with a good chance of winning the nomination who would be electable in November.” – Hal Dixon, Spokane

“My preference for president is Bernie Sanders because he has held consistent democratic non-interventionist values for 40 years, whereas Hillary Clinton is proud to have been a militaristic Goldwater Girl and still is judging by Iraq and Libya.’ – Leonard Butters, Spokane

“Bernie Sanders. The rest of them in the running scare me.” – Damien Ferguson, Spokane

“Hillary Clinton is the only candidate that can deal with all phases of governing; she is not an ideologue. She wants all Americans to have a better life; she knows how Washington works from experience, and even under heavy attack from the other party she keeps her cool.” – Nina Elo, Mead.

“Actually, none of them. As far as I’m concerned, none of them have the values needed to be president.” – Frances Reichert, Meridian, Idaho

Thanks for contributing. See you next week.

Opinion Editor Gary Crooks can be reached at or (509) 459-5026. Follow him on Twitter @GaryCrooks.